tv PBS News Hour PBS March 16, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: afghan president karzai lashed out at the united states today, saying there had been little cooperation in the investigation into the killings of civilians last weekend. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the newshour tonight, we get the latest on the suspect, a 38-year old soldier, and have a newsmaker interview with ryan crocker, u.s. ambassador to afghanistan. times in afghanistan. >> we've been through tough times in afghanistan. >> woodruff: then, spencer
michels reports on a california city trying to stave off the threat of looming bankruptcy. >> stockton spent money on... >> brown: mark shields and david brooks analyze the week's news. >> woodruff: and ray suarez examines the guilty verdict for the former rutgers student charged with hate crimes for spying on his gay roommate. that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: bnsf railway. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible
by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the president of afghanistan voiced new outrage today over the killings of 16 civilians in his country. hamid karzai made angry new accusations against the u.s., as the american suspect in the shootings was being flown home. karzai fired off his new broadside after meeting with relatives of those murdered last sunday. >> it is by all means the end of the rope here, the end of the rope. this form of activity, this behavior cannot be tolerated. it is past, past, past the time. >> woodruff: the killings took 16 lives-- mostly women and children, shot as they slept, in two separate villages.
karzai demanded the u.s. military be more forthcoming, as he lent a sympathetic ear to family members who insisted, despite what u.s. officials have indicated, that the shooter could not have acted alone. >> the story of the village elders and the affectees is entirely different. they believe it is not possible for one person to do that. the army chief has just reported that the afghan investigation team did not receive the cooperation that they expected from the united states. >> woodruff: the massacre was the latest in a series of incidents that have cratered u.s.-afghan relations. last month's koran burnings by u.s. personnel ignited days of rioting and reprisal killings against americans. and ongoing tensions over u.s. "night raids" against suspected insurgents also factor in.
yesterday, after meeting with defense secretary leon panetta, karzai said he wants nato coalition troops out of afghan village outposts. american officials played down the statement. but today, the afghan leader insisted he was serious. he said he told president obama as much in a phone call. >> ( translated ): yesterday, i made it clear-- they should leave our houses and villages. this morning, the american president called me and talked about this issue. he asked, "did you announce this?" i said, "yes, i announced it." i have said, "get out of our villages." >> woodruff: president obama was in chicago today and did not mention the conversation with karzai. a white house statement said they reaffirmed the plan to begin a transition to afghan-led security next year, and full afghan control in 2014. but the statement said: "they also agreed to further discuss concerns voiced by president karzai about the
presence of foreign troops in afghan villages." meanwhile, the 38-year-old staff sergeant suspected in the massacre had already been flown to kuwait. today, he was on a flight headed to the u.s. military prison at fort leavenworth, kansas. he'd originally been stationed at joint base lewis-mcchord in washington state. and his newly-named civilian defense attorney, john henry browne of seattle, said the soldier was deeply affected by the wounding of a comrade in afghanistan. >> we have been informed, at this small base that he was at, somebody was gravely injured the day before this alleged incident. he's never said anything antagonistic about muslims. he's never said anything antagonistic about middle eastern individuals. he's, in general, been very mild mannered. >> woodruff: browne denied reports that the soldier had been drinking, which is forbidden in combat zones.
he also dismissed talk of marital stress. but he did say the soldier's deployment to afghanistan was of grave concern. >> he was told that he was not going to be redeployed. the family was counting on him not being redeployed. and so he and the family were told that his tours in the middle east were over. and then, literally overnight, that changed. so i think it would be fair to say that he and the family were not happy that he was going back. >> woodruff: the soldier was previously deployed three times to iraq, and wounded twice, including one classified as a brain injury. this was his first deployment to afghanistan. this afternoon at the state department, i talked with the u.s. ambassador to afghanistan, ryan crocker, and started by asking for his reaction to hamid karzai's demand, made directly today to president obama, that u.s. forces be pulled from rural areas.
>> is that something the u.s. can do? >> we'll have to look at this. we both want a secure country we have to keep our vision on the far horizon as we wrestle with these always difficult issues. >> brown: but the rhetoric was fairly pointed. president karzai also accused the u.s. of not corporating in the investigation of the american soldier who allegedly killed the civilians over the weekend. >> in terms of the level of emotion, president karzai had just met with the families of the victims of the shootings on sunday and heard their stories. those were horrific, shocking
murders. they shocked afghans, they shocked americans. president obama the day of the event spoke of his own personal sense of his grief and sorrow and noting that as we pursue this case we're going to pursue it as those victims were americans. so the fact that president karzai is upset, i fully understand. i'm pretty upset, too. >> brown: you said, yes, he was meeting with the families but he has a habit of surprising and sometimes rather bold statements. are they helpful or hurtful to this continuing relationship to hear him questioning and that saying something like "i'm at the end of the rope"? >> i have a lot of time for him and respect for him. i think he's a committed afghan nationalist and at the end of the day he seeks the same goals we do. sometimes rhetoric gets heated.
sometimes my rhetoric has been known to get a little bit heated in these meetings. and then i go sit under a tree and think about the larger equities at stake and we move on. >> brown: it seems the question is strained beyond repair. >> we've been through you have to times in afghanistan. we've been through it, the afghans have been through it, we've carried on. my expectation is we'll carry on through this. just a week ago we signed a memorandum of understanding with the afghan government on a transfer of detention operations from the u.s. to afghanistan. a lot of people didn't think that could be done. we did it. so i think we can carry ahead, deal with these tough issues on where our forces are deployed. night operations and work our way through to a long-term strategic partnership agreement because it's in the interest of both countries.
>> brown: even though the appetite in afghanistan seems to be lessening from the president on down to the american presence to some of the tactics that we use. you still think this is a functioning relationship? >> i do think it's a functioning relationship. i went to afghanistan over ten years ago to open our embassy after the fall of the taliban when i first met president karzai. i came out of retirement to come back to afghanistan because i believe in the relationship, i believe in the criticality of that relationship to the vital national security interests of both countries. it's true we've been at it a long time. it's true people in afghanistan and people in america are tired. look, jeff, i'm tired. i've been deployed for seven years now between afghanistan and pakistan and iraq. i do this because it's critical to our national security. it's critical to their national security. we have to stick with it. >> reporter: you raise the
american public as tired in your word, you're tired. do you fear that that is not going to affect what happens over the coming months, the american public feeling that this mission may not be worth it any longer. >> i think the american public can and will focus on both long term future equities and our national security and they'll remember what happened ten and a half years ago. 9/11 happened. 9/11 came out of afghanistan. the most destructive active war ever on american territory. and the same people who brought us 9/11 are more than ready to retake the country if we decide we're tired, if we decide we don't want to do it anymore, if we get out before the afghans can assume full control, the taliban will be back and obviously al qaeda will be with them and we'll be back in a pre-9/11 situation. >> reportersituation.>> brown:
you feel certain that would happen if we pull out too early. >> i think there's every likelihood that would happen, yes. >> brown: another recent development was the announcement that the taliban were pulling out of negotiations. so how is that to any hopes of a negotiated peace settlement? >> well, we'll see what happens. our policy, our strategy has been clear since the secretary's speech in february of 2011 in which he said the united states would support an afghan-led peace, a reconciliation process. that was our position. it remains our position. what the taliban decided to do about it, i don't know. >> brown: are you worried these recent developments in afghanistan are emboldening hard-liners in the taliban so there will be little incentive to come to the table to talk. and, in fact, more of an incentive to wait this out and see if the american public and
political system tires of the whole thing? >> reporter: that's why the recommitment by president obama is important. that's a long way off, the taliban is not doing too well on the battlefield and i would not expect them do too much better in the years ahead they're going to have to think about how much of their fighters and their commanders they want to see die that i don't think they can achieve as long as we stay the course. >> brown: ambassador ryan crocker, thank you so much for staying with us. >> thank you, jeff. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: a city struggling to avoid bankruptcy; shields and brooks; and the verdict in the rutgers web cam spying case. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: a turkish military helicopter crashed in afghanistan today, killing 12 turkish soldiers on board and two children on the ground. the helicopter hit a house outside kabul.
the troops were on a nato mission at the time. officials said there was no sign of enemy activity in the area. a former rutgers university student was convicted today of intimidating a gay roommate, who then committed suicide. the jury found dharun ravi guilty of using a web cam to watch tyler clementi kissing another man, and of letting other students watch. ravi was convicted of invasion of privacy and bias intimidation, a hate crime. clementi committed suicide in september of 2010, after he realized he'd been spied on. today, his father appealed to the young to practice tolerance. >> to our college, high school, and even middle school youngsters i would say this, you're not necessarily going to... you're going to meet a lot of people in your lifetime. some of these people you may not like. but just because you don't like them does not mean you have to work against them. >> sreenivasan: the multiple hate crime convictions carry up to ten years in prison apiece. we'll have more on this story later in the program. clean-up began today in a small
michigan village after a tornado damaged more than 100 homes. no one was hurt, but people scrambled for shelter as the storm hit dexter, northwest of ann arbor, early thursday evening. the tornado was captured on video as it formed, and then stayed on the ground for about half an hour. officials said it packed winds of 135 miles an hour, smashing through whole neighborhoods, and leaving a path of splintered homes and downed trees. in syria, there was fresh fighting outside damascus between troops and army defectors. it came just days after the rebels suffered defeats in other cities. amateur video today also showed random shelling of homes in hama. smoke rose from buildings, and activists said they'd been hit by fire from syrian army tanks. meanwhile, special envoy kofi annan briefed the u.n. security council. later, he urged the body to "speak with one voice" before the fighting spreads. >> the developments in syria, they are concerned... their concern goes beyond syria
itself, because the crisis could have serious impact for the whole region. if it's not >> sreenivasan: annan said he plans to return to syria for another visit in upcoming weeks. he made little headway during his initial visit last weekend. north korea announced plans today to fire a satellite into space, and the u.s. quickly condemned the move. the launch would employ the kind of long-range missile that might also carry a nuclear warhead. the u.s. also criticized a similar test in 2009. last month, the u.s. agreed to provide food aid to north korea, and the north agreed to a moratorium on long-range missile testing. today, state department spokesman victoria nuland said a new launch would end the deal. >> frankly, if they were go-to-go forward with this launch it's very hard to imagine how we would be able to move forward with a regime whose word we have no confidence in and who has egregiously violated its international commitments.
>> sreenivasan: north korea has argued that satellite launches are part of a peaceful space program, and therefore exempt from any nuclear obligations. the archbishop of canterbury, rowan williams, announced today he is stepping down. for ten years, he's served at the helm of the church of england, and as spiritual leader of 85 million anglicans worldwide, including u.s. episcopalians. but, at 61, he said it's time to move on. >> i think it's a job of immense demands and i would hope that my successor has the constitution of an ox and the skin of a ryes nos are a, really. but he will, i think, have to look with positive hopeful eyes on a church which for all its problems is still for so many people a place to which they resort in times of need and crisis. >> sreenivasan: williams has presided over fights about elevating gay bishops and recognizing same-sex unions. and the church votes this summer on letting women become bishops.
williams will become master of magdalene college at cambridge university. the man behind a widely viewed film on african rebel leader joseph kony was detained last night in san diego. police said jason russell was picked up for public drunkenness and lewd conduct, and then hospitalized. his organization, invisible children, said russell was suffering from exhaustion. russell's film, "kony 2012," details decades of atrocities by kony's group, the lord's resistance army. wall street finished the week on a relatively quiet note. the dow jones industrial average lost 20 points to close at 13,232. the nasdaq fell one point to close at 3,055. for the week, both the dow and the nasdaq gained more than 2%. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jeff. >> brown: a major city in california that once blossomed
at the height of the boom is now on the verge of bankruptcy. it's joining others around the country being forced to make serious cuts just to stay afloat. newshour correspondent spencer michels reports. >> reporter: the police department in stockton, california, is getting a new chief, the fifth one in the last eight years. they retired, often early, with generous pensions-- one reason, but certainly not the only one, the city is in dire financial shape. stockton, 100 miles east of san francisco in the agricultural central valley, is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. if that happens, this city of 300,000 would be the nation's largest bankrupt city. increasingly, cities across the nation are in crisis, because of pensions, health care costs, and overspending, all aggravated by the recession. to help prevent bankruptcy, stockton officials have been slashing the budget. the police have taken the biggest hits-- through cuts and retirements, the force is down 27% since 2008. and that has had a big impact, according to public information officer pete smith. >> let's say you come home from
work, your house has been burglarized, and you find the front door open but the house is safe. it's been ransacked. there's a good chance that you won't get a uniformed officer at that call. we primarily will respond still to in-progress and violent crimes. >> reporter: while police presence is down, violent crimes and gang activity are increasing in stockton, which has the state's highest crime rate for large cities, and the second highest murder rate. the fire department has suffered cuts, as well, and other city employees have had to take furloughs and benefit reductions. some residents, like professional photographer arnold chin, see the quality of life deteriorating before their eyes. >> you're seeing graffiti, etching, garbage, transients hanging out in the corner soliciting money, panhandling. >> reporter: a year ago, stockton was named the country's most miserable city by "forbes" magazine. now, citizens are asking, how did stockton get itself into such a mess?
and how will it get itself out? as in many cities, home construction-- which had been booming-- collapsed as thousands of homes were foreclosed on, and thousands of construction jobs were lost. prices of homes dropped 65%. and according to the mayor, the situation just kept getting worse. >> layer on top of that, the great recession we're dealing with. our unemployment rate is probably 17% right now. those all combine to form the perfect storm for our city. >> reporter: but there were some mistakes that stockton officials also made in the past. when times were flush, stockton went on a building spree. this ballpark seats 5,000, and is home to the stockton ports. but times have changed, and stockton owes money for projects like this, and may not be able to pay it back.
city officials sold bonds to finance redevelopment projects like a new hotel and an upscale events center, built near the water that is channeled up to stockton from san francisco bay. the projects have not generated a lot of business. and the city constructed a new marina, which is only partially successful. "stockton record" columnist michael fitzgerald watched it all happen. >> in the first decade of the 2000s, city government racked up $319 million on construction costs, and that debt is still hovering over the city. >> reporter: dwane milnes was city manager during much of that time, and today heads the retired city employee organization. >> the city was very anxious about economic development, all with the objective of bringing people into the core of downtown. >> reporter: didn't quite work though, did it? >> it hasn't worked yet.
what people expected was instant miracles. you don't build a ball park and an ice arena and a downtown theater all within a short period of time; you stretch those out. >> reporter: but fitzgerald says there was more the city council did wrong back then. remember all those police chiefs and retired cops and other city workers drawing pensions? fitzgerald says they also have premium health care benefits, which have saddled the city budget. >> it is an outrage. in the 1990s, the city manager and the council gave the store away to public employee unions. they created a half-billion dollar retiree medical plan, and they never put a dollar down on it. >> reporter: former city manager milnes denies rolling over to the unions, and says the city was convinced it could afford what it was spending for benefits. >> it could be afforded, based on our long-term forecast, and
we were doing long-term forecasts of revenue and expenses that were based on conservative, conservative growth. >> reporter: still, newly hired city manager bob deis says he was dealt a rough hand, especially paying for health care for 1,100 workers who retired before age 65. >> next year, were gong to spend $10 million... $9 million on retiree health insurance, but we're only spending $8 million on our employees. so that's an issue we have to deal with. >> reporter: the solution many say is to cut those pensions and health benefits. that brought angry retirees and union members to a recent meeting of the stockton city council, where the possible bankruptcy was on the agenda. >> the people are going to vote you out of office. they're going to clean city hall out. your seats are in jeopardy. >> do not mess with our
employee's pensions. we've got millions in the bank. we are nowhere close to bankrupt. >> you have to start living within your means and stop blaming current and retired city employees for this mess. we didn't make this mess. >> reporter: city manger deis, one target of the audience, says it really is a mess, and the city is close to bankruptcy. it has defaulted on some bonds already. >> we can't cut services anymore. we feel employees have borne the brunt of our situation, and we can't cut compensation much more. so, what's left? what's left are other creditors. and so we would like to talk to them and see if they can help us. >> reporter: while the fight goes on, the people of stockton continue to struggle. more and more people are showing up for food giveaway programs and free meals, like these at st. mary's interfaith, where edward figueroa is the c.e.o.
>> it used to be 400 was a busy lunchtime meal for us. by the end of the month, we're often seeing 800-plus individuals turning to us for what, in many cases, will be their only hot, nutritious meal of the day. >> reporter: and, figueroa says, bankruptcy hurts the employment picture. >> it gives one more thing for businesses that are considering moving, one more reason for them to look someplace else. >> reporter: leaders in stockton are looking for lessons from the debacle. >> the city of stockton didn't have any real reserves. we were betting on the economy to continue to just flourish and, of course, the bottom dropped out. >> as governments, we really ought to be moving much more conservatively than the political environment often demands. >> they're going to have to take a haircut. >> reporter: a haircut? meaning less money? >> meaning less money. >> reporter: and is that going to fly? >> there's no choice. >> reporter: under a new state
law, stockton will attempt to enter mediation with its creditors to avoid bankruptcy. meanwhile, the city is bitterly divided on who's at fault, and on how to solve seemingly unsolvable problems. and army staffa staff sarge. that is sinl sinld syndicated c. we knew that the 38-year-old staff sergeant is being blown tonight from kuwait to fort leaf on worth kansas. the terrible incident the killing of these civilians and he is a suspect alleged to have
done this, how does it change witwhat the u.s. is trying to dn afghanistan. >> i'm not sure there is a long term effect. there have been drone killings and long terroris long term kile year. what is different is the circumstances surrounding this and the qur'an burnings. a lot of people think we should leave by 2013ment an. and that idea the exits are so close creates this momentum where people think let's get out of here. we have a lot of of afghan capl leaving the country and we have the educated class leve leavinge country and applying for citizenship abroad. we have the taliban knowing we have not much longer to wait and they are supicious about goash negotiations. what happens is when you begin the withdrawal process you get the spiral. managing the wit withdrawal becs
much, much more difficult for the u.s. >> is it all about managing the withdrawal and getting out faster? >> i think it's more than that. first of all it's a an iron rule of history. the army's occupation throughout human history are unpopular. think of the french who were indispensable to the revolution. who stuck around for six months. and i think that is the first reality. and now this war is ten years old. secondly, nobody can define what the mission is now. managing the exit, i mean is this for the more expenditure of blood and treasure and american risking death if not worse. and i guess i think that is where it is. i think that is the riel tir. -- reality. it's got a political implication this week. newt beginnin begin gingrich san
is not doable. ricrick santorum says accelerate the pull out. it really appears to be a political problem than a strategic international problem. >> i think we know what the mission is. >> the military is very clear about this. and we are trying to get an afghanar may that can defend the country. and the people in the military who are not particularly political think that is quite doable. and they are little dig disturbd about the little treat. the africa afghan army has -- af troops are illiterate and it does function and there are a lot of them. there is some expectation that you will create army that you
will have a long civil war as have you had in previous pulls. there is a pattern of american generals. they are reluctant to leave a wrar. war that is a pattern. this is a failed mission. let's be blunt about it. we are not going to leave afghanistan as a functioning operating society. cakarzai is a disaster. those that remember south vietnam. this is a parallel. a book end of that. we are propping up a corrupt regime that does not have the respect and commitment of tess s own people and commitment of it's people. that is the reality. he is the mayor of kabul at best. >> so when the ambassador crocker tells jeff as he did in that interview, considering the circumstances hamid karzai is doing what he has to do.
>> he is what is flying t playie gagallery by ink condemning thed states and telling us what our strategy ought to be. i don't see he is a admirable or reliable ally. >> i agree with that.i don't har has a lot of room for hamid karzai. a lot of people in the military don't see him as that. they see him as corrupt. and what we want is stability. we won't have the taliban coming in and quickin kicking girls ouf school and a long civil war that will believed over too afghanistan. can we get basic level of stablity? i think the generals got too yahoo about that this but think they think it's possible. we have handed over large part of thlarge largeparts of afghan.
there is some basic stable that is all we want. >> mark you mentioned the polite call and the implications in the election. do you see this having an effect one way or another. gut beginninnewt gingrich said d for a reason. and if you is it the ask them se stay in afghanistan? no we should spend our money here. i don't think it should be a huge ca campaign issue. th>> i think it's beyond partisanship now. and the lack of enthusiasm for the united states continuing to fight and die there. the stablity is that is not exactly unconditional surren
dur. we want to leave stablity in our wake. i don't think it's a rally cry or a defining mission that americans are going to support at this point. >> the campaign, david, where does it stand mitt romney we thought he had a shot in mississippi and alabama rick san torricksantorum one. newt begi gingrich is still in e race where are are we. from one qa quagmire to another. we are nearly halfway done the campaign. it will go on. i don't think that romney is not going to get the nomination. i think he will get the nomination. if you look at the delegate mass. he is way ahead. and he is likely to stay ahead. will he get enough delegates to clear the nomination. i think he will be close. i say that because what has happened in campaign after campaign or state after state is purely the battle of demographics.
up-scale voters and middle scale voters going for romney. and down scale and rural voters go for sanatorium. henry olsen points out every place where there is a major league baseball park romney carries that place. every place ther there is a a mr league team sa santorum carries that place. if you look at the other states california and illinois there are more romney people. you would expect him to get the nomination. >> so is it inevitable? >> i don't think inevitable. >> or almost. >> i think a week is a lifetime in politics and five months to eterroriseternity. i would bet on mitt romney. we are moving into new territory. zeldelaware and new york and connecticut and wisconsin and illinois. that are better romney states.
what santorum has achieved is remarkable. written off and ignored and all allof those early debates and contrary to all of the preveiling conventional wisdom he got 49% of the white working women that workout side of the home voltin have voting for him. >> city spit despite the conver. he has the passion and romney has the deep pockets. and he has the enthusiasm. >> i think romney has a much much better chance in the fall. it's hard not to be if i am impd with what sa san santorum is do. >> what reward does he get. >> if he could get beginning bet of the race.
gingrich says i define my job as saving the western civilization. >> i hate to remind you of this on this boroug program you saidf gingrich doesn't win he i alabae is going to have to get out. >> now he is saying i want to go to tampa and be a player. that is a hell of a reason to make phone calls and go door-to-door. >> he thinks he can deny romney. it's possible he can. one of the interesting parlor games is what would happen if he did get out. some of the vote ishes are vote. i think most of the apology polg suggest that it would go to him. >> that is the difference in ohio and michigan. >> the last thing i want to ask you about the piece in the "new york times" about this former trader at goldman sachs just
blistering about the culture of goldman sachs and it's all about the money. we knew it was about the money. he is saying putting the company ahead of the customer. is this a surprise? >> this was not a column bri wrn about the salvation army. that takes care of homeless and poor people. it's a column written about goldman sachs and people are ready to believe about gold majoritgoldmangoldmansachs. big corporations rate higher. big pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies. the congress of the united states rates higher than does wall street and financial institutions. and this is a group that is conspicuous for it's arrogance and total self absolution for any financial crisis in this country and the suffering in
it's wake. to be blunt about it, this is a company that created a financial instrument soully because of a hedge fund customer wanted to belt against it and they made unlesmillions on that. are people ready to believe it. yes they are ready to believe it. >> to state the obvious. >> >> i think the guy that wrote i. and people in firms like that talk about their own client and their cows to be milked and i think that is true. >> thank you both. david brooks, mark shields. thank you. >> we'll be back shortly with a convision of a former >> brown: we'll be back shortly with the conviction of a former rutgers student on hate crime charges. but first, this is pledge week on pbs. this break allows your public television station to ask for your support, and that support helps keep programs like ours on the air.
>> woodruff: for those stations >> woodruff: for those stations not taking a pledge break, we take a second look at a colorado program that teaches children about the realities of spending and financial discipline. newshour correspondent tom bearden has the story. >> reporter: a carefree winter day on a preschool playground in a denver suburb, three- to five- year-old children who are many years away from the realities of adult life. or are they? >> i am going to buy a dog. >> reporter: these kids are learning about money-- drawing coins and dollar bills, simulating buying things from the classroom store, acting as cashiers to make those sales. in 2009, the colorado legislature mandated a change in state educational standards, requiring that personal financial literacy be part of public education from pre-school through high school.
the state's schools had to begin teaching to that mandate this fall. ruth hartvigson is an early childhood coach for the jefferson county school system. she says they were skeptical of the whole idea at first. >> we didn't want to make the kiddos materialistic and it was a shift in thinking for us as an educational staff to think that's not what this is all about. we're not making kids materialistic, we're just helping them to know another fact of life. >> reporter: amanda jerome is a preschool instructor. >> well, i think it's important to teach responsiblity. i think it's important to teach them to appreciate things, that we all work hard in life, and when you work hard, you're rewarded with it, and that's how you get the things that you want. >> reporter: sitting in on the class this day, christina climaco. she's not an educator, she's an executive at great west insurance, one of the country's larger financial services companies. when the legislature passed the mandate, it didn't provide any additional money for it. in fact, colorado has been forced to make massive cuts in
the education budget. great-west decided to step in and help. climaco runs the company's financial literacy program, which last fall awarded 25 $5,000 grants to individual teachers all over the state. >> we're already seeing that these grants are having a huge and tremendous impact on student knowledge and its really empowering teachers to teach personal finance in the classroom. >> reporter: climaco says the grant applications proposed many different approaches. >> they set up the classroom, there were bakeries and coffee shops and hair salons. and you have to go to those different shops and give them fake money, and they're starting to learn that i actually have to give something to get something back in return. so while it does seem like it might be too much, those are the basics that kids in preschool need to start learning about. >> so make sure you have your notebook and your pencil ready to go. make sure that your banking statements up to date. >> reporter: kristin bernstein takes it a step further for her fourth-graders at eldorado elementary school in douglas
county. she got one of the $5,000 grants and used part of the money to buy ipad tablet computers, which the children use for everything from simple calculations to internet financial research. she serves them a steady diet of fiscal responsibility. >> what do i wanna buy? why do i wanna buy it? why is really, really important. that's what's gotten people in lots of trouble with their money because they bought things they really didn't need, and they really didn't know why they wanted it. they just bought it to have it. >> reporter: her classroom has a store stocked by parents, and students use the simulated money they earn in class to buy things. the purchases are deducted from their classroom bank accounts. remember, that's 150. okay, you wanted gum. gum's popular today. >> reporter: a student economist evaluates supply and demand and adjusts the store's prices accordingly. they'll also tell me what we're running low on because of supply and demand. so my kids have also had lessons on supply and demand, and raising and lowering of prices
and they've actually got to watch that happen in stores with the christmas and holiday season around. >> so brett, if you buy a gum >> so brett, if you buy a gum you'll be the last person to get this for 150. >> reporter: bernstein says the children have mastered some surprisingly sophisticated concepts. >> i've learned about banking and how you save your money to do things, and i've learned what interest is. >> some kids see their parents going through tough times at home, and actually come to school with questions about what's going on with negative money situations. >> reporter: 60 miles north, sixth-graders at walt clark middle school punch a time clock before class begins. teachers linda pfeiffer and chad custer say that's designed to reinforce the idea that going to school is an actual job. students also have simulated outside jobs. they learn how to total up their income, deduct taxes and monthly expenses, and figure out what
they can afford to do with what's left over. >> you need to decide, can you afford to go to the movies this friday night? can you get popcorn if you can afford to go to the movies? >> reporter: and some students find out the consequences of not being prepared to work. >> we're going to unemploy you. we're going to let you go from >> again? >> again. so you are now fired from this job. so good luck to you. this boy, great kid, but came to class unprepared and not ready to work, and he has this behavior quite often. when that type of behavior happens, we let them go from their job, knowing that if you don't come to work and ready to work, chances are you're not gonna keep that job. >> reporter: pfeiffer also handed out what she called 'good, bad, and ugly" cards-- real-life curve balls like unexpected car repairs.. >> oh, no... >> reporter: did you get a big bill today? >> yeah, it was 400 bucks,
it was for my car, needs a new brake cylinder thing. >> reporter: ouch! is that gonna be hard to pay? >> yeah, kind of. >> we've seen kids starting to have those "aha" moments of wait a minute, doing a minimum wage job is not gonna get me to where i want to be in life and they're starting to understand that their parents are struggling, that's it tough to make ends meeting even having had an education. so they're seeing that the education is huge. >> reporter: the teachers we spoke to all said the children's parents were onboard with teaching their kids about money, that most were quite enthusiastic. they plan to pass on the lessons they learn this year to fellow teachers, leveraging the grant money to further develop financial literacy education throughout all of the state's public schools. >> brown: online, you'll find newshour economics correspondent paul solman's story about using "sesame street" characters to teach children about money.
>> woodruff: finally tonight, a closer look at the verdict in the case of a former rutgers university student and the roommate he spied on. ray suarez has our story. >> suarez: the jury found dharun ravi guilty on 15 counts of bias intimidation, invasion of privacy, and tampering with evidence, among others. the 20-year-old was not charged with tyler clementi's death. but ravi's actions, including the spying on his roommate with a web cam, came three days before clementi took his own life. no direct connection was alleged, but the case became a flash point for discussions about bullying, intimidation, and attitudes towards gay men and women. kate zernike has been covering the case for "the new york times," and has been at the courthouse in new brunswick today.
>> reporter: any reaction? read out guilty on bias intimidation his eyes popped out and he looked away from the jury he seemed surprised by that. he sa stoically and left the courthouse without saying anything. he wasn't charged in way were the death of tyler but did the suicide find it's way into the trial? >> it never came up in the closing arguments that either lawyer made to the jury. it only came up once when the man he had been with in the webcam viewing was testifying in court and they asked him how he found out tyler clementi died and he said he read it int in te newspaper. it's hard to believe that the jurors would not have used the suicide. the jurors had seen the man he
was with who was identified as mb they saw him in court. they said he did not violate his fivprivacy. but he will targeted tyler because he was gay. you have to think they did that was because they didn't have tyler there. all they would to consider was the fact that he killed himself. >> did his attorney discuss his decision not to put ravi on the stand to speak in his own defense. >> they were closed in the decision not to do that in the end they felt that the case spoke for itself. i think they believed he would not be convicted of bias intimidation. the evidence was not there. the jury would see him at the time of the webcam viewing, they would say he was just an 18-year-old kid and he was punk. he was not a homophob.
>> did tyler clementi's parents have a reaction to the verdict. they had a very brief statement. they said it was difficult watching the trial. what they seemed to most want to do is appeal to middle and high school students. their message was simple. you may not always like the people you plea meet in life buu try to get along with them. if you see someone do something hateful speak out against it stop it. they were trying to emphasize what could be the legacy of their son. >> the sentencing is set for may. did ravi free? did he walk out of the kilometres-per-hour room today? >> he did have to surrender his passport. he walked out of the court room free. his lawyers have six weeks to file paper and that could include their intention to file an appeal. they did send out an e-mail saying they intended to appeal this decision.
kate zernike good to talk to you. >> thanks ray. >> brown: again, the other major developments of the day: this evening, a u.s. official identified staff sergeant robert bales as the soldier who allegedly killed 16 afghans. afghan president karzai accused the u.s. of failing to cooperate in investigating the massacre. on the newshour, u.s. ambassador to afghanistan ryan crocker said the u.s. would "have to take a close look" at karzai's demand that u.s. troops be pulled from rural areas, but that the u.s. still has a "functioning relationship" with the afghan government. and north korea announced it will launch a new satellite on a long-range missile, possibly violating a new agreement for u.s. food aid. and on a lighter note-- online, mark and david weigh in on march madness. hari sreenivasan explains. >> sreenivasan: that would be on
the "doubleheader," with more on politics and sports from shields and brooks on the rundown later tonight. some readers wanted to know more about our "do you live in a bubble?" quiz. joblessness is a way of life. find a link to "need to know" and much more on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. judy. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on monday, we'll talk to two former governors who are pushing for a bipartisan presidential ticket. i'm judy woodruff ... >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. "washington week" can be seen later this evening on most pbs stations. we'll see you online, and again here monday evening. have a nice weekend. thank you and good night.
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